Eating healthy is a habit that offers numerous benefits for your health. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight and feel more energetic, adequate nutrition provides your body with the fuel it needs to function properly. Consuming a diet that gives your body all of the nutrition it needs is vital to staying healthy.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the globe. Although there are various treatments for different types of the disease, nutrition has a direct impact on how cancer affects your body. By eating the right foods, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing cancer or improve your chances of fighting and recovering from the disease.
Consuming a well-balanced diet that incorporates products from all five of the basic food groups is the best way to ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs. Each one of the food groups offers different nutritional benefits, which include those listed below.
- Whole grains: Foods such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice are rich in complex carbohydrates that provide your body with fuel that serves as energy. Complex carbohydrates break down slowly and help you stay full for longer periods of time while increasing your energy levels.
- Fruits: Rich in antioxidants and high in water content, foods such as blueberries, bananas, apples, and cantaloupe boost your body's immune system. The extra water from fruit helps you stay hydrated and the natural sweetness of fruit makes it a healthy snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Dairy: Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are high in calcium to help strengthen bones and teeth. These foods are also rich in other nutrients and healthy fats so they are effective for satisfying hunger while strengthening your body.
- Vegetables: Vegetables and beans are incredibly rich in vital nutrients, so they are an essential part of a healthy diet. High fiber content and complex carbohydrates make foods like carrots, broccoli, squash, and asparagus both nutritious and filling.
- Lean Protein: Protein helps your body retain muscle mass and effectively satisfies hunger. Food such as eggs, chicken, and beef strengthen muscles and help you maintain a healthy weight.
When you consume a nutritious diet and limit your intake of refined flour and sugar, you are less likely to develop cancer. While this habit does not guarantee that you will remain cancer-free, it is an excellent habit to develop to strengthen your body and improve its immune system to reduce the likelihood of the disease taking hold.
Water is also a vital element for proper nutrition. If your body is dehydrated, it cannot absorb nutrients properly. Drinking 64 ounces of water each day keeps your body hydrated so it can properly absorb vitamins from food and flush out built-up toxins that could cause inflammation and cause you to feel sluggish and uncomfortable.
Once you have been diagnosed with cancer and begin treatment, nutrition becomes even more important. After speaking with a cancer diagnostician like the chairman of OncoCellMDx, Harry Stylli, you will have a better understanding of how aggressive your cancer is and how nutrition can affect it.
While undergoing treatment, you may not be able to stomach certain foods or even entire food groups, but it is essential to maintain a healthy diet so you can better withstand treatment side effects.
For certain types of the disease, vegan or vegetarian diets may be incredibly effective because patients may not be able to tolerate meat. For others, a high-protein diet filled with eggs, meat, and fish may be for helpful because it preserves muscle mass.
Once you are in remission, you will most likely be weak from treatment and the strain of fighting the disease. At this point, nutrition plays a vital role in helping you regain strength. While adequate nutrition originally helps reduce the risk of developing cancer and then helps you tolerate treatment, it is especially important to rebuilding your strength and improving your body's function.
Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove cancer all place a significant strain on your body. Even if you eat properly while undergoing treatment to maintain strength, you will likely be weak upon remission. Once you can tolerate all types of food again, it is important to resume eating a diet that includes foods from every group. This helps strengthen every system in your body and provides you with essential vitamins and nutrients to get your body back to top shape.
While nutrition alone is not enough to ward off or cure cancer, it is a good tool to use to fight the disease. Establishing healthy eating habits now can help lower your risk factors for developing the disease and make it easier for you to eat right if you are diagnosed with cancer and need adequate nutrition to tolerate treatment and rebuild strength while in remission.